You know Harmony as a place where your values as a food consumer are put in to action. Did you also know that beyond providing local whole foods to the region, Harmony is an engine of the local economy? Harmony generates $160 of local economic activity for every $100 that is invested or spent in the store.
As a cornerstone of both the local foods economy and the locally-owned economy, we are now working as cooperative owners of this store to Build a Solid Base for Harmony.
Growth never comes without growing pains. We knew things would get tight, financially speaking, during our first post-expansion year. However, our expansion plan involved either leasing or selling the old store. Harmony can’t continue to muster the prevailing financial winds like we could in the old store when our assets were high and our debt was low. Several blown cooler compressors, a construction bill from out of the blue, and expansion related overruns add up quickly when our cash is both servicing large quantities of debt and fueling store operations.
We are also launching a fall Capital and Ownership drive to help resolve the situation. Our goal is to raise $250,000 in additional equity, through a combination of loans, C stock shares, and new ownerships. You’ll see on the Building a Solid Base fact sheet on our website, www.harmonycoop.com, how we aim to bring Harmony’s debt-to-equity ratio into balance and where the new capital reserves will be dedicated to solidifying Harmony’s base.
As dedicated share-holder, there are other ways you can help build a stronger base for Harmony. You could join the lead of your Board of Directors and initiate a new member-owner loan or buy shares of C stock. We’ve already raised several thousand dollars from a dedicated circle of Harmony investors.
We also invite you to host a Harmony House Party. In the old store, about 60% of our shoppers were owners. Now, it is only about 50%. We want to help people see the tangible and intangible benefit of owning their own whole-foods business by learning about the benefits of ownership from their families and friends. We have literature and tips available to share with your house party guests. If you’re interested in hosting one yourself, email me for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also this fall we’ve decided that the General Membership Meeting (GMM) is so nice, we‘re changing things around doing it twice. We know that some of you come to the GMM for the festivities, food and families. Some of you come for the more business end of things. Either way, we are splitting the GMM into two events this year— a gathering and a business meeting. You can read Colleen’s article to find out the details about how we are celebrating with a GMM Gathering at the store on September 30 from 3-6 p.m.
At the beginning of the regularly scheduled October board meeting, we will host a brief GMM business meeting. If you like receiving the annual report, seeing which new directors won their respective elections, disposing of the minutes from last year’s GMM, then join us for that brief GMM business meeting at 6:00 on October 24th in the Community Kitchen.
Fall tends to bring a renewed sense of scurry, new routines and opportunities. We encourage you, as co-store owners to reinvest in Harmony’s base with us and help sink her financial roots deep into the community. On behalf of your board of directors, we look forward to seeing you at the GMM gathering, the GMM business meeting or both.
<<solid base lit>>